This modular container by architects Nilsson Pflugfelder of London and Berlin can be reconfigured to create a workspace, artist's residence, archive or meeting area as required by its host, the FLACC Workplace for Visual Artists in Genk, Belgium.
The mobile Verbandkammer installation is constructed from a combination of 40 component types and is currently on show in the centre's ground floor gallery as part of contemporary art biennial Manifesta 9.
Files and drawings displayed on the shelves of the container present information sourced from projects and exhibitions previously hosted by the arts institution, alongside computers and a coffee machine.
After the exhibition is over the archive will be moved upstairs, where it can be taken apart and adapted by both members of the institution and future artists in residence. The architects refer to this stage as "hacking", a theme that emerged in Milan this spring centred around collaborative design and open-source production, and they claim that structure will be "constantly in the making".
Photography is by Kristof Vrancken.
Here's some more information from Nilsson Pflugfelder:
(Re-)staging Institutional Memory
As part of Manifesta 9 Parallel Events Nilsson Pflugfelder have been invited by FLACC to (re-)present the institution with a major installation that rethinks how FLACC as a ‘Workplace for Visual Arts’ might – at a structural level – operate in a more critical and self-reflective way. After Manifesta 9, the installation will mutate and migrate throughout the institution to become a new framework for growth, production and documentation.
The Verbandkammer is a concentration of the formal, programmatic and social aspects of FLACC’s genetic make-up. In its first guise it is situated in the centre of the gallery at Casino Modern. The Verbandkammer collapses cultural production, workplace, residency, archive, administration, and discursive spaces into one coherent, dense installation – a unified assembly consisting of disparate elements: 11 nos. types of frames, 10 nos. types of cladding, 40 nos. types of modules, 6 nos. programmatic entities and 1 no. Verbandkammer. Through the compressed adjacencies, the various parts rub against each other generating a productive friction.
The Verbandkammer is a form of institutional memory – a sedimentation and fossilisation of information. As a cross-section through the institutional shifts, it gauges where FLACC has been in the past, where it is situated at the present, and acts as a firm foundation from where the institution can project towards the future. It is a framework for mining and reusing existing information previously produced at FLACC – a tangible feedback loop obsessed with keeping past information in the productive present.
In its second guise post-Manifesta 9, the Verbandkammer will move from the ground floor gallery to FLACC’s spaces on the first floor where the various elements will be reconfigured to enable and guide future thinking and production at the institution. In conjunction with the physical framework, critical research into FLACC as a workplace for the visual arts will be conducted. The Verbandkammer is conceived as an open system that can be altered or hacked by both future artists in residence as well as the institution itself. The structure has no final form or predestined end. Along with its host-institution it is constantly in the making.
The building of an archive and the formation of coal are deeply intertwined in that they are both bound up with geological processes of sedimentation, layering, compression and fossilisation creating dense stratifications of matter. Unlike the finite and irreversible process of coal mining, the mining of the Verbandkammer is a sustainable act in that it is concerned both with retrieval and production of matter.
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